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  1. Collecting dues

    by , September 15th, 2012 at 12:00 AM (Questions from Coaches)
    Q: My program is growing. I enjoy the additional time I spend on the deck coaching but collecting payments from my swimmers has never been fun or easy. Any suggestions?

    A: Consider using a third party club management company for billing and fee collection, such as Club Assistant. Many coaches resist adding additional costs to their business. However, there is a value to being able to spend more time doing the things you enjoy. With an increase in your productivity, you can spend more time coaching, which benefits you and your members.

    The billing of your members can be customized based on your criteria. I recommend billing in advance either monthly, quarterly, semiannually or yearly. If a member has prepaid the program fee, they are more likely to stay with the program or return to the program after an illness, injury or an extended vacation. Discounts may be offered for specific groups like families, seniors and juniors. I'm especially fond of the family discount. When one or more other family member is participating in our sport, the greater the chance all will continue to participate.
  2. Lap swimmers are potential members

    by , August 15th, 2012 at 12:00 AM (Questions from Coaches)
    Q: We have several lap swimmers who swim at our pool. How do I get them to try Masters?

    A: Try starting a conversation with lap swimmers after they finish swimming or when they take a break. Make a positive comment about their stroke or work ethic. Introduce yourself as the coach who works with the adult swimmers at the facility. Keep "Masters" out of the conversation during this initial encounter. Ask them leading questions using their first name as much as possible. Develop an idea of what health and fitness goals they might be trying to achieve. The more you know about them as an athlete and swimmer, the better chance you'll have in getting them to accept an invitation to try your program. Remember, the initial conversation should be about them, not you.
  3. How does the 30-day trial membership work?

    by , July 15th, 2012 at 12:00 AM (Questions from Coaches)
    Q: Can new swimmers try out my club without registering for USMS? I thought all swimmers in the water had to be USMS members to be protected under the USMS insurance policy.

    A: USMS insurance allows for a 30-day trial of a Masters program. Potential members who want to swim with your club can swim for 30 days before they have to register with USMS (this is separate from any club fees you may charge).

    To protect your swimmers' USMS insurance coverage, you MUST have the potential member fill out and sign a USMS application for membership. Write "30-DAY TRIAL" across the top of the application and keep it during the trial period. If an incident occurs, the trial swimmer is NOT covered by USMS insurance, but all of your registered swimmers are covered.
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